Relief as 'hideous' extension rejected at appeal

Green Councillor Denise Carlo with resident of Heigham Grove

Green councillor Denise Carlo, left, looks out over the proposed Earlham Court development site with a resident who was helping orchestrate objection letters - Credit: Sarah Burgess

There were sighs of relief for a Norwich community after a "hideous" extension was rejected by government inspectors.

Residents in Earlham Court have been fighting against a two-storey extension submitted early last year, branding it a "carbuncle".

Now, the government's Planning Inspectorate has rejected the plans at an appeal.

Ipswich-based developer Witnesham Ventures Limited submitted plans to Norwich City Council (NCC) for a two-storey extension on one of Earlham Court's residential blocks in February 2021- making it four floors in total. The plans would have created four one-bed and four two-bed flats.

Objection letters in residents' windows around the Grove

Objection letters in residents' windows around the Grove - Credit: Sarah Burgess

In April last year residents of Grove Court said they were appalled by the proposals, writing to the city council to object to the development and displaying posters in nearly every window.

NCC took too long determining the application, so the company appealed to the Planning Inspectorate.

In his appeal rejection, the inspector said the development would "harm the significance of the Heigham conservation area (CA), which includes the Grade I listed Roman Catholic Cathedral".

They continued: "The proposed development would result in a highly prominent modern and utilitarian feature in the CA.

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"The scheme would be at stark odds with the traditional features of the historic buildings nearby."

The block earmarked for development, which sits back slightly from Earlham Road

The block that was earmarked for development, which sits back slightly from Earlham Road - Credit: Sarah Burgess

Reacting to the news, Denise Carlo, a Green Party councillor for Nelson ward who has described the proposal as "hideous" said the decision was a black cloud lifting from over the heads of Earlham Court tenants.

She said: "If it had been allowed it could have involved the tenants losing their homes as the construction work involved would have been substantial.

Denise Carlo, leader of the Green group at Norwich City Council. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Green city councillor Denise Carlo - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

"It was submitted by Wintesham Ventures without any consideration for the lives of their tenants.  

"Thankfully, the planning inspector has dismissed the appeal on conservation grounds.   

"This is another example of builders trying to shoehorn in more development for profit without any thought for the people affected and the local environment”.

Attempts were made to contact the developer for comment.

According to plans the homes would have been sold at market prices and would come with 12 new cycle-spaces for hypothetical tenants, but no car parking facilities.